Kern Co. campus moves

Posted May 11, 2007

The Kern County Regional Campus relocated one mile from its original location to help the campus grow.

The seven year lease held with the law firm Borton, Petrini and Conron expired. After evaluating the situation, the campus decided to move. The main reason was the growth in students.

“We knew that staying in that facility was not a viable option,” Dean of Regional Campus Administration Steve Lesniak said.

The downtown area is being redeveloped and the city wanted The Kern County campus to be a part of its new growth.

The expansion of Bakersfield was an incentive that made the campus decide to stay there.

“I hope we outgrow ourselves very quickly,” said Val Garcia, director of the Kern County campus.

The new campus will have 10 classrooms, compared to the six at the previous location.

The growth in student population and the combining of graduate programs on campus led to the addition of four classrooms. Each classroom will be a smart classroom. They will have data projectors on the ceilings, similar to what is seen in the classrooms on the main campus. There is also an effort to make the entire campus wireless.

“From what I heard from when I went up there last, the students love it, the faculty loves it,” Director of Administration and Operations for Enrollment Management Deborah Walden said.

There will also be more high schools added in the Bakersfield district. In the next 10 years, five schools will be built. This could lead to additional jobs for graduates.

“They know that the teachers and school counselors and administration that come out of the program are well respected,” Lesniak said.

According to Lesniak, about three-fourths of the programs offered are teaching and education programs.

The campus is also part of the Statewide Education Program, where University of La Verne professors and local high school teachers help students earn a degree to become a school counselor or administrator.

Garcia earned his degree in school counseling from Kern County Regional campus.

He is grateful to have gone there and be able to come back and relate to the students as an alumnus.

Other programs are offered such as a degree in organizational business and business administration.

The Ed. D program will be added this fall.

The new facility is 12,000 square feet, located at the Highway 178 intersection in downtown Bakersfield, the busiest intersection in Kern County.

More people can take notice of the campus.

If they do not see it, then the 25-foot signs will help them realize the location of the new location of the campus.

“We’ve been called the hidden gem of Bakersfield,” Garcia said.

The relocation is also beneficial because of the complex it is located in.
There are several restaurants, a pharmacy and a dentist’s office located in the same complex as the campus.

“They can come here for everything they need,” Garcia said.

This is the fourth move for the Kern County campus in the last 30 years it has been operating.

Every six months before the lease expires for any of the regional campuses, an evaluation is done to see if the location is the best for that school.

In December, the lease for the San Fernando Valley campus and the Inland Empire campus will expire.

The San Fernando Valley campus will stay where it is, but the Inland Empire campus hopes to relocate.

“We have to be lucky to find a building that meets all the criteria at the time we move,” Lesniak said.

Sher Porter can be reached at

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